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Betting on the English FA Cup

The English FA Cup is the oldest soccer tournament in the world and a real fan favorite. Not only in the UK but all across the globe. It’s a competition known for huge upsets, heart-stopping drama, and opportunities for the smallest clubs in the country to face the giants of English soccer.

There are lots of good chances to make money by betting on the FA Cup. If that sounds like an interesting prospect, you should check out the best FA Cup betting sites.

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These top-rated sites and apps for betting on the FA Cup offer high odds, rewarding promotions, and a good variety of markets for the competition.

We share more about our recommended sportsbooks later on, alongside our best tips for FA Cup gambling, instructions on how to spot upsets, and other useful information.

Best FA Cup Betting Sites and Apps

We spend a lot of hours looking for the best FA Cup sportsbooks online based on criteria such as safety, odds, variety of markets, payments speed, and customer support service.

Our recommended soccer bookmakers beat the competition in most of them but we constantly monitor our current top choices in case they fall behind. The list on this page is ALWAYS up to date.

Let’s take a look at more details about the best apps and sites for betting on the FA Cup.

BetUS – Top FA Cup Betting Site for the US and Fast Payments

BetUS Logo
  • Founded: 1996
  • First Deposit Bonus: 100% of up to $2,500
  • US Players: Yes
  • Banking Options: Credit cards, Cryptocurrencies, Cash transfers

Picking BetUS to bet on the FA Cup with real money is an excellent choice for several reasons. The online sportsbook is safe and secure, the odds are high, and the bonuses you can use for soccer gambling are excellent.

You can pick from plenty of English FA Cup wagers and futures, too, so you should be able to find your favorite markets for the competition.

The payment speed is where BetUS really shines because you can receive your money within a working day if you decide to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Withdrawals with other methods are also faster than most other sites.

Other benefits at this bookmaker include a smooth mobile betting site, reliable customer support service, and an intuitive user interface.

Betway – Best FA Cup Betting App

Betway Logo
  • Founded: 2006
  • First Deposit Bonus: 100% of up to $50
  • US Players: No
  • Banking Options: Credit cards, E-wallets, Wire Transfers, Prepaid Cards, Other

If you have access to Betway’s services, you should certainly consider the bookmaker when betting on FA Cup matches and outrights. The odds are way better than the industry average, and you can often find exclusive promos for the most popular fixtures.

The number of markets for each clash is higher than most soccer betting sites, and the FA Cup odds are available on all sorts of platforms.

Betway has dedicated sportsbook apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android. You can also access Betway directly from your browser. Betway offers one of the best mobile FA Cup betting sites.

You can add the bookie’s excellent reputation, fast payments, and impeccable customer support service to the list of perks of joining Betway.

MyBookie – Best FA Cup Online Sportsbook for Betting With Crypto

MyBookie Logo
  • Founded: 2014
  • First Deposit Bonus: 50% of up to $1,000
  • US Players: Yes
  • Banking Options: Credit and debit cards, Cryptocurrencies, Money Transfer

Many English FA Cup betting apps and sites offer Bitcoin as a payment method, but few of them can compete with MyBookie. The sportsbook has excellent odds and generous promotions for both new and existing customers.

There’s also a program called Crypto Rewards that’s designed to deliver even more advantages for people using Bitcoin, Ethereum, or one of the other cryptocurrencies supported by MyBookie.

All of the regular deals at this betting site can be claimed with crypto and used for FA Cup gambling. The choice of markets is the only questionable area, but MyBookie covers all the traditional options.

Every single feature and FA Cup wager are available on mobile, so you can enjoy MyBookie on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

FA Cup Betting for Beginners

Now that we’ve shown you where to bet on the FA Cup online with real cash, it’s time to move on to more essential information for beginners.

Let’s start with some crucial details about the English FA Cup format for those of you that are not aware of the competition’s rules.

English FA Cup Format

One of the reasons why the English FA Cup is so exciting is the knockout format. Each of the eight main rounds and all fixtures from the qualifying stage are direct eliminations. One defeat for a team and they’re out.

The format also takes into account the English soccer pyramid, so the top teams in the country join the competition later than the rest. Here’s a full breakdown of each regular round.

Round Number of Teams New Divisions Added
First round 80 League One and League Two
Second round 40
Third round 64 English Premier League and Championship
Fourth round 32
Fifth round 16
Quarterfinals 8

Teams from the top two tiers of English soccer enter from round three, while the third and fourth divisions start from round one. Clubs from the lower tiers have the chance to earn a place via the qualifiers that run in the summer and the fall.

The draw for every round is completely random, which is another reason why the FA Cup is so wild. That’s also a significant factor when it comes to betting on the winner.

There are no restrictions or seeds, so the two best teams in the country could play each other as early as round three! Furthermore, home advantage is also completely random and part of the draw.

Another rule you should consider is related to tiebreaking. A draw during the regular 90 minutes results in a replay up to round four. The home advantage switches for the second clash.

In the past, the teams would replay again in the case of a draw, but the English association decided to add penalties and extra time after the first replay. An unusual situation between Arsenal and Leeds largely forced that decision. They had that had to face each other four times in the 1990-91 FA Cup!

Arsenal and Leeds met four times in 1991 which led to a change in FA Cup rules.

Since 2018-19, all draws in the fifth round or later go into standard extra time and penalties.

Finally, the winner of the English FA Cup earns the right to play in the UEFA Europa League in the following season. The place is open to clubs outside of the Premier League, so the division of the champion doesn’t matter.

With all the important facts about the format covered, it’s time to learn more about the popular FA Cup bets offered by the top soccer gambling sites on the internet.

FA Cup Betting Options

The English FA Cup is a popular competition among soccer fans and the best sports betting sites know that very well. They offer plenty of different wagers for the tournament, so you will have more than enough opportunities to make some money.

Let’s take a look at the markets that are available at most FA Cup gambling sites and apps.

FA Cup Winner

The most popular FA Cup outright betting market is the option to back a winner. You can pick any team to lift the trophy.

You can place your wager before the competition has even started, just before the final, or anywhere in between. We have strategy tips for betting on the FA Cup winner later on, so stay tuned for more info if that’s the market of your choice.

Betting on FA Cup Matches

The FA Cup brings us more than 100 matches each year, even if we exclude the qualifiers.

Most betting sites offer the following markets for all of them.

  • Full Time Result
  • Over/Under 2.5 Goals
  • Both Teams to Score
  • First Team to Score
  • First Player to Score
  • HT Result
  • HT/FT Result

The best FA Cup apps and sites for betting usually have plenty of other options related to cards, corners, throw-ins, and more.

You should always explore all markets in order to find the best FA Cup betting picks.

Live Betting, Props, and Specials

Once the elite English soccer clubs join the FA Cup in round three, all games are available for live betting. You can target the traditional match gambling options, but also certain unique markets like next team to score, next player to get booked, and many more.

The bigger games also include various props and specials related to both sides and specific players. While building a sustainable FA Cup betting strategy around these is challenging, they still provide the chance to win extra cash.

Basic FA Cup Betting Tips

Before we reveal our FA Cup betting tips for the main markets, here are some fundamental guidelines that apply to pretty much all types of gambling on the competition.

  • Bet for Value – A lot of people ignore the concept of value betting and simply try to guess what’s going to happen instead. That’s a certain way to lose money in the long run, so learn to analyze the odds and think in probabilities.
  • Cup Competitions Are Different – The FA Cup is a single-round knockout tournament. Every single mistake and every little detail could be enough for even the strongest team to crash out of the competition. That leads to more surprises and underdog wins.
  • Bankroll Management – You should only risk money you can afford to lose and also protect your bankroll with a proper staking plan.
  • Stay Selective – Don’t go after too many wagers because the top sites for gambling on the FA Cup don’t make many mistakes in their odds. The quality of your bets, not the quantity, is what’s important.
  • Bet on the Internet – The online soccer bookmakers offer higher FA Cup betting odds, more promotions, and other perks that will improve your returns. Not to mention that online gambling is so much easier.

If you are completely new to soccer betting, it might be a good idea to check the following pages before you get started with FA Cup betting for real money.

Strategy for Picking the FA Cup Winner

We promised to share our top tips for betting on the FA Cup winner and it’s time to deliver. It’s one of the most popular markets available and one that provides some interesting opportunities.

Timing is crucial when it comes to picking the winner of the FA Cup, but certain general principles apply to every single stage. Let’s check them out.

General Tips for Picking the FA Cup Winner

The following gambling advice applies to pretty much FA Cup winner bet you could place, no matter the timing.

  • Make a List with Realistic Winners – While the FA Cup is known for the many upsets, the eventual winner is usually among the strongest teams in the country or at least an EPL side. You should always start your analysis with the clubs that have a realistic chance based on the stage of the tournament and the squads left.
  • Consider Traditions – Traditions matter in English soccer and even more so in the FA Cup. Certain teams take great pride in their successful past and they try harder. The likes of Arsenal and Manchester United are the most obvious examples, but there are other clubs who love the competition, too.
  • The Format Can Change Everything – The lack of seeds and pools in the draw, as well as the lack of replays after the fourth round, make the tournament very unpredictable. One mistake and you’re gone, so that’s something to consider when placing your FA Cup wagers.
  • The Financial Benefits Are Not That Big – Unfortunately, the prize money from winning the FA Cup can’t compare with what the EPL and the Champions League bring. That’s why many Premier League and Championship sides might prioritize the league.
  • Squad Depth Might Make the Difference – A Premier League team with a strong group of 15 players and not much depth outside of that is probably less likely to win to FA Cup than a side with worse starters but better overall depth. That’s because the managers often rotate players for the competition.

That’s it for the basic FA Cup winner betting advice you need. Now let’s look at more tips based on the timing of your bets.

Betting on the FA Cup Winner Early

The FA Cup winner market is available for the next season right after the final of the competition, so you can bet months in advance. Many people place their wagers before the soccer season in England has started, while others prefer to wait for the Premier League to begin before going at it.

Since the top sides join the FA Cup at the beginning of January, we consider all wagers placed before the start of the fifth round as “early betting.”

In that period, you should probably back dark horses and secondary favorites. The odds for the top contenders are usually low, and there’s way too much luck involved to make them good bets.

The lack of seeds in the draw and the random home advantage could lead to all sorts of matchups. Backing a team that’s close enough to the best to beat them in a direct clash might be the smartest choice.

A perfect example of such a side that won the FA Cup recently is Arsenal in 2019-20. Here’s the list of the eventual champion’s opponents before the semifinals.

3rd Round Leeds United (Home)
4th Round Bournemouth (Away)
5th Round Portsmouth (Away)
Quarterfinals Sheffield United (Away)

The Gunners faced two teams from lower divisions, as well as two EPL opponents that were nowhere near their overall level in terms of squad depth. At the same time, Chelsea and Liverpool played each other in the fifth round, while the Reds also had to go through Everton as early as the third round.

There’s little doubt that Arsenal deserved the trophy after beating Manchester City and Chelsea in the last two games, but the road to Wembley was relatively easy.

The favorable draw is always a vital ingredient for winning the FA Cup and one of the main reasons you should opt for high odds early on.

The price for the top favorite is usually much lower compared to the third- or fourth-best side, but their chances of lifting the trophy are much closer than the odds difference suggests.

Betting on the FA Cup Winner Late

Once the quarterfinals of the FA Cup arrive, the situation changes dramatically. The trophy is close enough for everyone involved to consider it as a realistic target and there’s not much time left until the end of the season.

If you decide to gamble on the FA Cup at this point, you should analyze the following factors.

  • Other Targets – Around March and April, we usually know the realistic targets of most teams and where they stand in other competitions. Any team that is still fighting for the EPL title, a place in the Top 4, the Champions League, or against relegation is likely to prioritize that over the FA Cup. Clubs with no other major objectives usually focus on it more.
  • The Draw – With only three matches or less left to win the trophy, the draw is a big deal and you should always consider it.
  • Path to Europe – The FA Cup winner receives a place in the Europa League and that might be the only chance for any side that has lost hope to play in Europe through the EPL. That could increase their motivation to win the tournament.
  • Attitude Up to This Point – Some managers don’t really care about this trophy and you can recognize that by their selections early on. If they only send youngsters and squad players, it is usually a bad idea to back them.
  • Injuries, Suspensions, and Fatigue – With the number of games played in English soccer, some squads can be completely crippled by the spring. Backing a side that has too many injuries is rarely advisable.

The main goal at this point is to look at the bigger picture. You want to be backing teams that truly want to win the trophy and are in a good position to do so.

Betting on FA Cup Upsets

It is time to move on to our favorite type of FA Cup predictions – picking underdogs.

In theory, all games from the competition are similar to every other soccer game on the planet from a gambling perspective. You have to analyze the teams and look at some numbers before betting. And yet, there’s one major difference.

The English FA Cup is one of the tournaments with the most surprises. Just check out the following examples from 2020 and 2021.

  • Shrewsbury Town 2-2 Liverpool: Liverpool had to face a third-tier opponent Shrewsbury Town in the fourth round of the 2019-20 campaign. The underdog almost beat the Reds after Jurgen Klopp sent a bunch of youngsters. A team that collected over 100 points in the EPL was lucky to make it to the replay!
  • Newport County 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Newport County was in the fourth division of English soccer and almost knocked out Brighton. The EPL side needed penalties to proceed.
  • Crawley Town 3-0 Leeds United: Unlike Brighton, Leeds couldn’t survive the away game against a team from the fourth tier of English soccer and was dumped out by Crawley Town in 2021.
  • Blackpool 2-2 West Bromwich Albion: Another top side that was out in the third round of the 2020-21 campaign is West Brom. The team was beaten by League One opponent Blackpool.
  • Chorley 6-2 Derby County: Chorley was playing in the sixth division of English soccer but that didn’t prevent the club from comfortably beating Championship side Derby County 6-2.

These were all matches that had two or more divisions difference between the two sides. Just imagine how many much closer games were snatched by the underdogs.

Here are the main reasons why FA Cup upsets are common.

  • Direct Eliminations with No Replays – The most obvious reason is the FA Cup format. Anything can happen in one game and there are no replays after the fourth round.
  • Traditions and History – The magic of the FA Cup has always been an essential part of the competition’s charm. In a sense, it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy and every team believes anything is possible.
  • Home Advantage – An English team’s own stadium is a fortress thanks to the passionate fans and that has been a huge factor behind most FA Cup upsets throughout the years.
  • Tough Schedule – The leading teams play a ton of matches each season and they are often forced to rotate in the FA Cup.
  • Motivation – The elite English divisions are full of foreign players that don’t all care for the FA Cup as much as local players who tend to have tremendous respect for the tournament.

If you can recognize more than one factor that works in favor of the underdog, a surprise might be in the making.

Let’s move on to some more detailed tips on finding potential upsets for those of you wondering how to bet on the FA Cup successfully.

Study the Schedule

The schedule can often help you find upsets. Even early on, the top teams might be forced to send youngsters and players that rarely start in other competitions.

Just imagine what happens in the third round. Teams will have been playing twice a week against strong competition in the English Premier League and the UEFA competitions.

Then they’ll have just endured the Christmas marathon that includes a whole bunch of fixtures within less than two weeks. And THEN comes the third round of the FA Cup!

Winning the trophy is still far in the future at this point, and the managers often use the FA Cup as an opportunity to give rest to key players.

Some will rotate heavily, which could disrupt the rhythm of their squad to the point that any team could end up being a tough opponent.

The top English sides are usually focused on bigger tournaments and might neglect the FA Cup.

Remeber the Importance of Home Advantage

When a team from the English Premier League visits an opponent from a lower division, it’s a fantastic occasion for the home side. The fans are at their best, the players are determined to prove themselves, and the games are usually hard for the favorite.

It’s not uncommon for the hosts to sabotage the pitch too, or simply to have one that’s way below EPL standards.

That gives the home side an advantage because it’s much harder to play quick and short passes when the ball is constantly stuck in the mud. Many upsets have been influenced by such conditions and that’s something to consider when betting on the FA Cup with real money.

Muddy pitches often contribute to FA Cup upsets.

Look for Strong Defensive Teams

A strong defensive side is always tough to beat in a cup competition. A hard-working unit of players who can do their job with enough discipline and a strong leader or two can outperform their true level.

That’s why you will find many decent defensive teams in the lower divisions of England, and they are more likely to upset an elite opponent. Outplaying the top sides in the country by going toe to toe with them is close to impossible, but defending well and taking your chances can work out.

Players on Loan Might Make the Difference

The top English sides have so many talented players that they cannot give them all enough playing time. That can force the clubs to send some youngsters and squad players on loan.

Many young players prefer to stay in England, so they end up at weaker EPL teams or clubs from lower divisions. You should always check for such players because they often have the talent and the motivation to make a huge difference.

Here are some examples of world-class players that spent time on loan in smaller English clubs at some point in their careers.

Player Club
John Terry Nottingham Forrest
Frank Lampard Swansea
Ashley Cole Crystal Palace
Serge Gnabri West Brom
David Beckham Preston North End

Players of this caliber can have a huge impact at clubs and them cause an upset in the FA Cup.

The FA Cup has been around since 1871 which makes it the oldest soccer tournament in the world. There’s a lot of history in this competition and traditions matter in English soccer.

We have prepared an overview of certain key stats and trends that can help you when betting on the FA Cup.

Let’s start with the most successful teams in the tournament.

Team FA Cup Trophies
Arsenal 14
Manchester United 12
Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur 8
Aston Villa, Liverpool 7
Blackburn, Newcastle, Manchester City 6

Arsenal is leading the way, but many other clubs have had multiple successes in the FA Cup. Funnily enough, very few have done so in consecutive years.

We’ve had back-to-back winners every now and then, but only two teams have managed three FA Cups in a row.

Team Years
Wanderers FC 1876, 1877, 1878
Blackburn Rovers 1884, 1885, 1886

That’s right, no team has managed to win three FA Cups in a row since the 19th century. Think about that if you’re about to back a club that has back-to-back trophies.

Another interesting trend that can help is related to the average number of goals in the past 10 FA Cup Finals. Let’s take a closer look.

Year Number of Goals
2020 3
2019 6
2018 1
2017 3
2016 3
2015 4
2014 5
2013 1
2012 3
2011 1
Average 3

The last goalless FA Cup final we had was in 2005, and the last ten finals have produced an average of three goals. Also, no final in the past ten years saw two goals. It was either one or at least three.

It’s curious that only two of these matches went to extra time. It has become a rare occurrence in recent FA Cup finals and probably something to consider when you place your wagers.

FA Cup Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Our FA Cup betting guide is designed to help you prepare your own wagers for the competition, but we know that some of you are looking for picks and predictions instead.

Our writers are always ready to deliver, so we recommend that you visit our soccer blog for the latest odds and analytical posts on the FA Cup and other soccer competitions. Here are the latest entries.

We also have a section with soccer picks prepared by experts who spend a lot of time looking for the best bets. We cover the FA Cup and many other leagues and tournaments. Check out our latest recommended wagers.

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